Claire Shaeffer is a sewing legend; I've only ever heard good things about her. I really enjoyed this book. It only has six chapters, I really wish it were longer. Not that I'm ever going to get to the level of sewing couture, I just wanted to read this book because it was written by Claire, and I knew I could learn a lot from her.
I was very surprised to learn how much hand sewing is done in haute couture. I always thought they use nothing by high-end sewing equipment. "The edges of many couture designs are finished by hand", Claire writes, and " the greatest advantage hand sewing offers is control. You can add a little ease anywhere with very little effort".
Not only does she talk about the importance of sewing by hand, there is an appendix at the end of the book that shows you how to do many different kinds of stitches by hand.
Each chapter provides techniques to help you achieve a professional look when making garments. Chapter one covers buttonholes, two - pockets, three - hems, four - sleeves, and five - trousers. You may have guessed it - a lot of buttonholes in couture are made by hand! I seriously feel like Claire has given me permission to start using my hands again. Last weekend I had to replace the zipper on my husband's cargo shorts because the old one was broken. I hand stitched one side entirely by hand to prevent the stitches from showing on the fly.
There are plenty of pictures throughout to show you how to do each step. This woman is brilliant!
The book comes with a DVD which offers an in-depth tailoring workshop. I think any sewist can greatly benefit from this book. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of her books.